Tonight’s Special: Bannock, Mille-Feuille and Berries
Curated by Jason Baerg and Tak Pham
Organized by Onsite Gallery
Featuring work by: Aylan Couchie, Carrie Gates, Jean-Sébastien Gauthier, Basia Goszczynska, Feather Metsch, Farrah-Marie Miranda, Caroline Monnet and Skawennati
Indigenous survivance, urbanization and so much more are on the menu at OCAD University’s 2017 Nuit Blanche program titled, Tonight’s Special: Bannock, MilleFeuille and Berries. Curated by Cree Métis artist and curator Jason Baerg and historian, curator and OCAD U alumnus Tak Pham.
Tonight’s Special draws inspiration from a range of cultural culinary pleasures – from the complex richness of a French mille-feuille pastry, to a hearty Indigenous buffalo stew. The program conjures complex discussions of Toronto’s varied cultures and histories reflected in our multicultural community.
Through new media experimentation and interactive engagements, the exhibiting artists aestheticize excessive synthetic materials to question our relationship to the surrounding environment. While the artworks are socio/enviro/political in nature, they are also colourful, pulsing and engaging.
This year’s Nuit Blanche program at OCAD University sprawls across the university’s expanded campus. Discover projects down the McCaul Street corridor, starting at Butterfield Park by the main building at 100 McCaul, and then head south towards the south campus on Richmond Street West alongside the university’s newly launched professional gallery.
- 100 McCaul St. - Butterfield Park
- 49 McCaul St.
- 240 Richmond St. W.
- 205 Richmond St. W. - Graduate Gallery
- 199 Richmond St. W. - Onsite Gallery
Cree Métis visual artist and curator Jason Baerg completed an MFA from Rutgers University and a BFA from Concordia University. Baerg has presented at the Luminato Festival, Art Toronto and Art Basel Miami.
Tak Pham is an architectural historian, curator and art writer. Pham holds a BA Hons. from Carleton University and MFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practice from OCAD University. He curated projects at OCAD U, Montgomery’s Inn, Art Toronto, Y+ Contemporary, Xpace Cultural Centre and Nuit Blanche 2017.
Aylan Couchie is an Anishinaabe multi-disciplinary artist and writer from Nipissing First Nation in Northern Ontario. She is a NSCAD University alumna and is currently an MFA Candidate at OCAD University where she is pursuing her graduate studies with a focus on Indigenous monument and public art. She’s been the recipient of several awards including “2015 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture” through the International Sculpture Center and the Inaugural Barbara Laronde Award from the Native Women in the Arts organization. Most recently, Aylan won the 2016 Premier’s Award in the Recent Graduate category.
Carrie Gates’ video mixing works use sound-reactive 3D processing and unusual rhythmic juxtapositions to create throbbing, psychedelic, responsive compositions that add a new dimension of interaction and intrigue to any environment. Abstract digital imagery is mixed live with hand-shot, performance-art-influenced footage, to create a hypnotizing, bent reality that is infused with concepts of visual music, set in a glitched-out 3.0 fantasy realm. She has created tour visuals for artists such as Girl Talk and Nicky Click, as well as music videos for artists such as Venetian Snares, Annie Hall, and DJ Kero. Gates’ video work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. She has played an active role in experimental electronic music communities and independent artist-run organizations since the mid-1990s.
Jean-Sébastien (JS) Gauthier is a Fransaskois sculptor and new media artist who adopts diverse forms of inquiry and experimentation to create time-based artworks. His work involves an interdisciplinary mix of technical and conceptual approaches from contemporary and traditional sculpture, video production, performance art, 3D rendering and scientific imagine technologies. This year, as artist-in-residence at the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology of the University of Saskatchewan and facilities of the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron in Saskatoon, he became the first Canadian artist to be granted synchrotron beam time with artistic inquiry and aesthetic experimentation as a primary objective. Dans la Mesure/Within Measure is the ongoing project whose resulting videos, installations and 3D models use cutting-edge 3D synchrotron radiation imaging techniques to create interactive representations of embryonic zebrafish. The first of its kind, his ongoing art-science collaboration with developmental biologist Dr. Brian Eames sets new precedents for the media arts in Canada.
Basia Goszczynska is a Polish-Canadian visual artist who explores her interests in ecology and material culture through a variety of media including sculpture, video and installation. Her work has screened at numerous film festivals including the Nantucket Film Festival, the Brooklyn Film Festival, and the Uppsala International Short Film Festival. She received an Arts Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and has had her work recognized by Dave Bown Projects and BWAC. Basia received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Farrah-Marie Miranda is an Abu-Dhabi born, Toronto-based artist of Goan and Mangalorean descent. She holds a Master of Environmental Studies from York University (2017), and has studied under performance scholar and feminist theatre director, Honor Ford-Smith. Miranda has exhibited at Artcite Inc. (Windsor), the Surrey Art Gallery (British Columbia), Astérides (Marseille), and Whippersnapper Gallery (Toronto). Her writing appears in several publications, including In the Wake of the Komagata Maru: Transpacific Migration, Race and Contemporary Art, VOZ-À-VOZ, Decolonization, Indigeneity & Society, Border Criminologies, Rabble and FUSE Magazine.
Caroline Monnet is a multidisciplinary artist from the Outaouais region, currently living in Montreal. She works in film, video, painting, sculpture and installation, and is a founding member of the Indigenous digital arts collective ITWÉ. Monnet’s work has appeared in a number of exhibitions and festivals in Canada, the United States, France, Germany, the UK, Mexico and New Zealand, including the Palais de Tokyo, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the Toronto International Film Festival, Aesthetica, the Cannes Film Festival, the Smithsonian Institute, the Sundance Film Festival, the Musée d’art contemporain (Montréal) and Arsenal Contemporary Art (Montréal).
Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change. Her pioneering new media projects have been widely presented across Turtle Island in major exhibitions such as Now? NOW! at Denver’s Biennial of the Americas; and Looking Forward (L’Avenir) at the Montreal Biennale. Her award-winning work in is included in both public and private collections.
Born in Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, Skawennati graduated with a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she is based. She is Co-Director of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research network of artists and academics who investigate and create Indigenous virtual environments. Their Skins workshops in Aboriginal Storytelling and Experimental Digital Media are aimed at empowering youth. In 2015 they launched IIF, the Initiative for Indigenous Futures.
Nuit Blanche at OCAD U is organized by Onsite Gallery with support from Hullmark, WeWork, OCAD U Graduate Studies and OCAD U Student Union.
Image credit: Carrie Gates, Mountain Glitchery, 2015. Video still.